Husky sledding tours are provided throughout northern Norway during winter departing out of the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes, Longyearben in Svalbard as well as at the Villmarkssenter located in Tromso which is one of the largest adventure operators in Norway.
The tour, which started from Kirkenes it was booked through Norway-based cruise company Hurtigruten and tickets ranged starting at 2420 Norwegian kroner (about 300 USD/PS240).).
What It Is
A 20-minute bus journey from Tromso town center transports passengers to the Villmarkssenter. It includes 300 Alaskan Huskies, also houses a lecture hall as well as the traditional “gamme” huts where you can relax with soup and coffee. The principal attraction is a 45-minute journey on a sled pulled across on the snow by a group of Alaskan Huskies. Professional dog handlers supervise and control all sled rides. After a few hours, including the exhilarating trip, the coach takes passengers back in the town’s center.
The place to meet is The Radisson Blu Hotel just a just a few feet from where the ship docks. It’s just a 20-minute ride between the hotel and Villmarksenter which affords stunning views of Tromso Island. Tromso and the Fjord, the mountains that surround the town , and the breathtaking Arctic Cathedral.
Once we have arrived after which we are taken into the changing room where we put on snowsuits. The easiest way to go is to keep all of your winter gear on and put the suit on. Also, you’ll be handed a large set of cozy boots. Bring your own gloves and hats and cameras, sunglasses and phone. In small groups, of either three (in our instance) (or four), we’re led to our sleds, as well as meet the guide as well as his group of eight huskies who are a joy to be with. The time is running out and there’s not much time for selfies and strokes. Instead, we’re put in the sled, with the largest at the back and in order of decreasing size, with the younger (8 an year old) in front, and our guide standing in the middle in the middle of the sled. He graciously offers us sleeping bags to help us stay warm throughout the journey We are very grateful for the offer. It’s a gorgeous sunny day however, it’s windy, we’re not moving, and the temperature is about 10 degrees below zero Celsius.
The dogs are sputtering with whining and yelling and frolicking with the snow eager to get out of the way. They’re in pairs with the smartest and youngest in front. The older ones are at the back. Everything rests on the two front-runners -Kristin and Oregano Kristin and Oregano paying attention to his instructions. “As long as they understand ‘Turn right’ and ‘Stop’ we’re fine,” He says.
Our guide yells at the dogs. They immediately begin sprinting, and we’re away!
There’s not much to do except relax and enjoy the ride and views. We’re fortunate that it’s the most beautiful day of the year However, I do speak with the driver, and he says they travel in any weatherconditions, provided it’s secure. You could go out in a snowstorm but I’m not sure it’s a lot of entertaining.
(Just to warn you A good view is in the front, which is where my son is seated however, it is also provides a direct glimpse of the dogs’ behinds. They tend to vomit, resulting in an terrible smell that everyone is at risk.)
The ride is mostly flat, but there is the occasional hill and bumps both up and down. It’s gorgeous and we stop for an occasional photo halfway through. There’s nothing difficult or exciting about this, but it’s an enjoyable experience and the boys absolutely love it.
We head back to the center and get a chance to pet the dogs. Then comes the high point in the morning (at the very least, for me and my son) which is a trip into the enclosure for puppies! We’re blessed that a number of Husky pups were born some weeks ago, which means we can take them in our arms and snap pictures with the mother of the puppies and father watching with interest.
Following that, we go to the warm and inviting cabins, where we’re fed delicious reindeer soup and slices of bread while sitting around a hot log fire. The adults drink strong coffee, followed by the kids enjoy hot chocolate.
Then , there’s approximately a half-hour of time to relax, which for my two kids is to go tobogganing down the nearby slope.
Worth a Try?
It’s definitely possible, especially when you’re active or have children who are dog lovers. It’s costly, but it’s an experience that’s not available in other locations around the world. As a way to introduce dogsledding, this tour is certainly a gentle adventure not a difficult one however it’s definitely enjoyable in a beautiful location. The trip is well-organized with guides who are welcoming and knowledgeable. They are also excellent with children. They took my sons directly to the puppy and served them hot chocolate right from the car to keep them warm. The Tromso pick-up point couldn’t be more convenient.
Things to Note
Dress warmly. (As stated earlier, boots are offered along with winter suits.) Include sunglasses, gloves as well as a waterproof jacket since it might be wet and cold, or sunny or snowing or a combination of the four. Be prepared for any weather and do it at the beginning of the day. Sunrises over mountains are stunning. Bring the GoPro and an selfie stick. Holding your phone or camera in place is a challenge when wearing large gloves.